Base vehicle: Ford Transit Price: £57,217 Berths: 2 Travel seats: 2 Length: 5.53m Width: 2.05m Height: 2.58m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 600kg
Murvi's Morello has been a favourite at What Motorhome almost as long as this mag has been published – well over 30 years. Its combination of a spacious lounge, myriad options, top-notch quality and practical design has rarely been beaten in this size of campervan. And, more recently, the addition of a Ford version (as an alternative to the venerable Fiat) has only added to its appeal.
While the Fiat is a little wider, to the benefit of layouts where you sleep across, the Ford feels so much more modern both to drive and to sit in. Despite that, and the success of its little brother, the Transit Custom in the pop-top camper market, the full-sized Tranny is a rare find in the van conversion sector.
Here, it’s the Pimento that we’re reviewing – the Morello’s shrunk-in-the-wash sister, which retains most of the longer model’s appeal, but with added manoeuvrability. The L2 H2 derivative of the Transit is the starting point, with a 105PS EcoBlue engine and Leader spec, but the 130PS motor fitted here will probably be more popular and upgraded Trend and Limited trim levels will be well worth considering.
It’s the classic Murvi layout, with a comfortably raked side-facing sofa looking out through the sliding door, that is central to the appeal. And it’s the overhanging wardrobe at the rear end of the sofa that makes such a layout possible in a vehicle that’s only 5.5m long. A smaller wardrobe than the one shown here is available as an option to create an even more open and spacious interior.
Murvi’s designs have always offered easy bed make-up, too, but usually with a double bed. Now, there are SB (single bed) derivatives of the Ford-based Pimento, Pimento XL and Morello – all offered at no extra cost.
This Pimento SB has an offside single bed measuring 1.90m (6ft 3in) by 0.76m (2ft 6in) and that’s without using the base of the driver’s seat, which can be brought into play if you need a really long bed.
On the nearside, the settee base simply slides across to mate up exactly with the cab passenger seat, resulting in a 1.75m (5ft 9in) bed. And there’s still the option to make a double (without any extra cushions), if you prefer. That’s a generous 1.90m by 1.45m and it leaves the cab seats available – with a table – if one camper gets up or goes to bed before the other.
Not only does the Pimento SB come up trumps with its sleeping options, but there’s excellent storage in the settee base, and Murvi offers a tailored bag for your bedding, which will sit beneath the wardrobe.
At the rear, it’s the usual Murvi format of offside corner washroom and L-shaped galley. The kitchen here has a 65-litre compressor fridge and a three-burner hob, but different fridges and cookers, as well as ovens and microwaves are available. All versions come with plentiful worktop space and a rare find these days, a sink with integral drainer.
The washroom is equally well-planned and can be accessed through the rear doors if you return to the camper wet and muddy. That’s the sort of practicality you get with a Murvi – and just one of the reasons we absolutely love them!